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Neglect of party purse costs job

Edgar Savisaar PHOTO: Toomas Huik / Postimees

Upon insistence of Centre Party secretary-general, four officials lose posts in Tallinn.

Mayor of Tallinn and Centre Party chairman Edgar Savisaar ordered letters of resignation by four city officials failing to pay agreed «post fee» into party fund.

City of Tallinn has not hired Priit Toobal. Still, on Friday, March 3rd, a letter was sent from Centre Party headquarters under the name of the Centre Party secretary-general and Member of Parliament, to party chief Edgar Savisaar – mediated to Postimees by a reliable source.

The letter reads: «In spite of repeated reminders, the following party members have not fulfilled their duties to party and therefore I propose considering removal from office of the listed persons: head of environmental department Otto Popel, deputy head of City Centre government Reena Tolmik, head of municipal police Monica Rand, adviser to deputy mayor Johannes Merilai.»

Six minutes after arrival of Mr Toobal’s letter, a demand by Mayor Savisaar dropped in the mailboxes of deputy mayors Kalle Klandorf, Arvo Sarapuu and Mihhail Korb: «Your Honours! Considering this request, and also that these persons have problems performing their duties as a whole, kindly submit to me, next Monday, their letters of resignation. E.S.»

The sums expected by party from officials salaries, coming from city folks’ taxes, amounted to €2,500. It is a custom in Centre Party, that once the party has helped a person to a high post – to parliament member, MEP, municipal police officer or director of some municipal enterprise – he/she is obligated to pay «thanksgiving money» into the party’s common purse. As a rule, we are talking about five, seven, at higher positions even to ten per cent of the salary.

Priit Toobal said yesterday, that the removal of aforesaid persons was not related to membership fees. But what if Postimees has sure evidence that the city officials were indeed dismissed for not paying the party? Answered Mr Toobal: «That’s not true. It is in no way linked to obligation to pay. If somebody is dismissed, it is rather because he or she was unfit for office or didn’t manage the tasks.»

Mr Toobal admitted that, as in any other Estonian party, Centre Party is constantly reminding its members of their obligation to pay fees. «It’s a constant procedure, we do it with financial secretary Kalev Kallo by means of personal communication, telephone or by mail,» said Mr Toobal.

After the Reform Party financing scandal, all political parties were talking of the need to concentrate on extracting membership fees from their people. Centre Party was the most successful, by collecting €35,756 – paid, however, by only 526 conscientious persons i.e. 4.2 per cent of membership.

More than membership fees, however, the parties benefit from office-related financial demands. Donations and state-budget-support included, Centre Party’s 2012 income amounted to €1.5m.

By city government decree, director of the Municipal Enterprise of Tallinn Marketplaces Vello Lokk will also be dismissed from service, on March 18th. The reason being  «extraordinary cancellation of employment contract by employer due to reasons related to employee». Mr Lokk left Centre Party already in December, last year. Last night, he was unwilling to comment to Postimees on his departure. Tallinn deputy mayor Arvo Sarapuu told news agency BNS last night, that Mr Lokk resigned for health reasons.

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From: Priit Toobal [mailto:priit@keskerakond.ee]

Sent: Friday, March 01, 2013 3:32 PM

To: Edgar Savisaar

Subject: Letter

Dear party chairman,

In spite of repeated reminders, the following party members have not fulfilled their duties to party and therefore I propose considering removal from office of the listed persons:

head of environmental department Otto Popel

deputy head of City Centre government Reena Tolmik

head of municipal police Monica Rand

adviser to deputy mayor Johannes Merilai

Sincerely

Priit Toobal

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From: Edgar Savisaar <Edgar.Savisaar@tallinnlv.ee>

Date: March 01, 2013 15:38.25 GMT+02:00

To: Kalle Klandorf <Kalle.Klandorf@tallinnlv.ee>, Arvo Sarapuu <Arvo.Sarapuu@tallinnlv.ee>, Mihhail Korb <Mihhail.Korb@tallinnlv.ee>

Subject: FW: Letter

Your Honours!

Considering this request, and also that these persons have problems performing their duties as a whole, kindly submit to me, next Monday, their letters of resignation.

E.S

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